A Rival Is Born To Kashmir In Telangana, Saffron Grows Successfully

SRINAGAR: Hyderabad-based startup — UrbanKisaan — has successfully grown Kashmiri saffron for the first time in Telangana and the pilot farming of the spice has shown good results, Telangana Today reported.

An official holding saffron bucket grown by Hyderabad-based startup — UrbanKisaan in Telangana. Pic Courtesy: Telangana Today

Kashmiri saffron, one of the most expensive spices, has always been a preferred choice for many. Harvested just once a year, saffron, through its red strands gives that rich and beautiful golden colour to food and is synonymous with Kashmir.

“The saffron is grown only in Kashmir as it requires a special kind of weather conditions. We spoke to a few farmers in that region and bought the seed material in August. We created the required temperature and carbon dioxide conditions that are a replica of what it is like in Kashmir to grow the flower from which the saffron strands are derived. We were able to grow A grade quality (topmost) saffron in our farms,” Telangana Today quoted Dr Sairam Reddy Palicherla, co-founder, UrbanKisaan as having said.

According to report, he also mentioned that through their innovative growing method, they were able to grow the flower in 40 times less space and with 20 times more efficiency when compared to growing in Kashmir.

Usually, saffron is grown only for one month in a year and the rest of the time it remains dormant and buried under the soil. “We are trying to break this dormancy period so that we can grow it two times in a year. The cultivation of saffron is being grown at the Kanha Shanti Vanam in Hyderabad,” the newspaper quoted Palicherla, who runs the company along with Vihari Kanukollu, the CEO of UrbanKisaan as saying.

The vertical farming startup uses hydroponic – a farming method that doesn’t involve soil – to grow and deliver vegetables and fruits. Other than buying vegetables and fruits from their different outlets spread across Hyderabad and Bengaluru, one can also buy their home farm kits to grow greens of their choice at home itself. The startup is backed by Y Combinator and also actor Samantha Ruth Prabhu who have invested in the company, reported Telangana Today.

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